Aino Folk-Tales

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Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

"Twelve hundred years ago a Chinese historian stated that "on the eastern frontier of the land of Japan there is a barrier of great mountains, beyond which is the land of the Hairy Men." These were the Aino, so named from the word in their own language signifying 'man.' ...." This volume contains short tales and scraps of folklore which were written down from the dictation of Aino elders in the summer of 1886 by the renowned Japanologist Basil Hall Chamberlain. By turn lively, dramatic and vigorously uninhibited, they reflect a vigorous oral tradition and are a unique record of a vanished world. About the author Basil Hall Chamberlain, [1850-1935] was one of the earliest Western interpreters of things Japanese. Born in Hampshire, England, on 18 October 1850, it was intended that he should follow a career in banking. At the age 18, however, he became ill and his physician recommended rest and travel. He arrived in Japan on 29th May 1873 and by the following year he was teaching at the Imperial Naval School in Tokyo. In 1886 he became a professor of Japanese at Tokyo University and it was here that he gained his reputation as a student of Japanese language and literature. His many works include the first translation of the Kojiki into English (1906), A Handbook of Colloquial Japanese (1888), Things Japanese (1890), and A Practical Guide to the Study of Japanese Writing (1905). With W.B. Mason he wrote A Handbook for Travellers in Japan (1891), which went through numerous editions.